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Pay Garbage

September 18th, 2004

When I first moved into my apartment building, something I considered a nice feature of the complex was the garbage removal. They had these big metal bins with covers so you could toss your garbage outside any day of the week, and not worry about the smell or crows getting at it. It was also easier for the garbage collectors; they could simply attach the bins to a lifting device on their truck, and it would all just slide in. They did it fast and didn’t have to get their hands too dirty.

But then, the city leaders of Inagi, in their infinite wisdom, decreed that bins like that could not be used. So we had to switch to the standard Japanese-style throw-your-garbage-by-the-side-of-the-street method, which stinks up the area and attracts crows and cats who fish through the garbage and make a mess, increasing maintenance costs. It’s harder for the trash collectors, too; they now have to sling every bag by hand, dealing with spillage and stink.

I would have thought that the city couldn’t go one worse, but I was wrong: now they’re telling us we have to pay for each bag of garbage thrown out. We can no longer use any garbage bag we please (say goodbye to pull-string bags, or to using grocery store bags, they get wasted now), we have to buy city-made bags at fee-inflated prices. It’s still relatively cheap–80 yen (about 75 cents) for ten grocery-store-size bags, 150 yen for double that size, and 300 yen for double that–but the point is that a price has now been set, meaning that price can easily go up anytime the city wants more money, and they inevitably will. This kind of thing should be paid for with tax revenues, at least then they can be honest about raising taxes. Though it is possible that this is a follow-up to the less-than-successful campaign of a few years ago when they tried to make everyone use transparent garbage bags and require people to write their names on each bag.

The change begins everywhere in Inagi City on October 1, and applies to burnable and unburnable garbage. Are there any other cities where they’re doing this?

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  1. Titus
    September 19th, 2004 at 00:39 | #1


    I’m currently residing in Ichikawa-shi (in Chiba), and they do indeed have the same policy about garbage bags. Only specially marked ones are acceptable (green for burnable, white for non-burnable). These bags can be purchased at the local convenience store. I had thought up to know that it was standard practice all over Japan to do this.

    Thankfully, my dormitory provides these bags free of charge.

    I’ll be moving up to Sendai at the end of the month to start school. I can tell you how it is up there, if you’d like.

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